Artist: Molly Ramage
Exhibition: Sleep Sweat
Media: Paper, Paper Mache
Gallery: CSULB School Of Art, Marilyn Weby Gallery
About the Artist:
Molly Ramage is a student in the School of Arts here at California State University Long Beach. She is on the print making track within the school, and is in her third year. Her exhibition, “Sleep Sweat” deals with the content of dreams and nightmares. The art works come from dreams the Ramage remembers vividly, and it is clear by how detailed some of the pieces are.
Ramage’s work consists of mostly paper. Ramage is “interested in the malleability of paper, its ability to absorb moisture, and withstand pounds of pressure. It is strong a flexible, but also fragile and prone to damage.” Ramage warps paper and combines it with things such as glitter, photographs, mache, and fragments of literature giving the art work a dream like quality.
Ramage’s artwork focuses on characters and landscapes from nightmares, acting on loose and vague narratives. Ramage says that these characters, appearing as beasts and demons, often represent suppressed frustration or pain. This is where the title “Sleep Sweat” comes from. You awaken from a bad dream, sweating, slowly pulling out of the nightmare you were experiencing.
Ramage’s exhibit may be my favorite so far. Her pieces all had a magical component to them, and her nightmares translate really well. Walking around the exhibit, some of the pieces reminded me of old Russian fairy tales that my step-mother used to tell me. No specific piece reminded me of this, but the exhibit’s overall impression did. There’s this old tale of this old grandmother who would come through Russian villages kidnapping bad children and putting them in a bag. She rode a giant chicken (from what I can remember). And once the children were kidnapped, no one ever saw them again.
I also really liked the pieces that were torn from some type of book, and Ramge would censor out certain parts of the passage, creating her own message. One of them read, “Symmetry gives an impression of security.”